1992. Hot Tuna “Live at Sweetwater”.

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1992. Hot Tuna “Live at Sweet­wa­ter”.

This was the first of a series of CD’s and videos released from a three night run at the leg­endary “Sweet­wa­ter” club in Mill Val­ley, Cal­i­for­nia. The club was run by the won­der­ful Jean­nie Pat­ti­son.
The night before Hot Tuna began record­ing the first show I hap­pened to be play­ing blues piano as a vol­un­teer at a SEVA ben­e­fit for Wavy Gravy at the Civic Audi­to­ri­um in Berke­ley, Cal­i­for­nia.
Dr John and Hot Tuna were on the bill that night, and I was play­ing piano in the cafe­te­ria with my head down when I got a tap on the shoulder…Jorma and Jack were stand­ing there. I hadn’t seen either of them for years and Jor­ma invit­ed me down to sit in on a song or two at the Sweet­wa­ter record­ing the fol­low­ing day.
I went down to sit in on one or two songs and end­ed up play­ing piano all three nights. I wasn’t that famil­iar with the mate­r­i­al and the only space for the piano was back where the drums would usu­al­ly be…it was an acoustic elec­tric show.
I did some fast scram­bling and learn­ing chord sequences dur­ing the first half of songs, know­ing full well Jor­ma would be giv­ing me a solo about halfway through.

It all turned out to be tremen­dous fun, and we all got along so well I stayed with Hot Tuna, and some­times the Jor­ma Kauko­nen Trio with just Jor­ma, Michael Falzara­no and me, for the next ten years.
Ten very hap­py years…Jorma’s brand of folk blues is my favorite music to play piano on…and we had some great tours of Italy. More like eat­ing tours real­ly. — with Jor­ma Kauko­nen, Michael Falzara­no, Jack Casady, Hot Tuna and Sweet­wa­ter.
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